Sprint Away That Weight!

Measuring WaistSummer is just around the corner and many of you are looking forward to heading to the local beach in your new bathing suit. However, when some of you look in the full length mirror, you might be disappointed by the way your bathing suit looks on you. It’s an all too common scenario. Too many holiday treats and indulgences. Sometimes even a few extra pounds can make a huge difference, if it all goes to your midsection. Those extra pounds can make the new bathing suit that you bought online, using your old size, look anything but flattering. Frustrated with your situation, you might decide to look online to find the fastest, safest way to lose body fat. And here you are!

What is the most efficient way to lose weight?
Scientists from Sydney, Australia may have the answer for you. They discovered that the best way to burn fat and lose weight with the minimum amount of exercise and time is to do short, high intensity interval training.

In their study, they had 46 overweight males perform very fast sprints (that raised their heart rate between 80 to 90 percent of their maximum heart rate) on an exercise bike for 8 seconds and then pedal slowly for 12 seconds. This cycle was done for 20 minutes three times a week over a 12 week period. During that time, the scientists observed an increase in muscle mass in the trunk and legs and a significant reduction in waist circumference, due to loss of visceral adipose fat. This type of fat is more difficult to lose, is dangerous for a person’s health and mainly accumulates in the lower abdominal area surrounding internal organs, such as the kidney, heart and pancreas.

Why does short, high intensity interval training eliminate more fat?
High intensity training releases a high level of hormones in men and women called catecholamines. These hormones are responsible for “driving the release of fat, especially abdominal and visceral fat, from fat stores, so it can be burned by working muscles.” So, evidence suggests that the key to losing weight efficiently is through catecholamines. However, high levels of these hormones are only found when the person’s heart rate goes up to a certain level. Sports like cycling, fast running, rowing and stair climbing are able to do that. But researchers have found that other activities, such as walking and swimming were unable to raise the heart rate high enough to achieve a high release of these fat releasing hormones.

The bottom line:
If you want to be healthier and lose weight, but have a difficult time squeezing long exercise sessions into your busy week, you no longer have to struggle. There is an alternative. All you need to do is set aside a minimum of 20 minutes three times a week for short, high intensity workouts. If you start now, you may be able to get into that bathing suit that you always wanted. So, get moving and make it fast!

Sources: Journal of ObesityThe Sydney Morning Herald 

Disclaimer: Please speak to your physician prior to starting any exercise program. 

Comments (1)

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  1. Isabel van Sunder says:

    It is good to know.

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